By Janice Podsada
Everett Daily Herald
EVERETT — Amazon is expected to open a new distribution center at the Riverside Business Park in northeast Everett.
The facility is located at the Port of Everett’s 86-acre industrial waterfront business park along the Snohomish River in the Snohomish County city.
The Seattle-based online retail giant reportedly leased the lion’s share of a 204,498 square-foot building developed by Panattoni Development a Newport, Calif.-based global real estate company.
That would still make it smaller than Amazon’s typical fulfillment centers, which are usually a half-million square feet or more in size.
Amazon declined to comment.
However, temporary signs that said “Welcome Amazonians” and “Amazonians Start Here,” have been placed outside the building, and port officials confirmed Amazon’s occupancy.
It’s not clear when the center will open or how many people it would employ.
Lisa Lefeber, the port’s deputy executive director and future CEO, said Panattoni developed the property, called Glacier Peak, without the commitment of a client or tenant.
“That doesn’t typically happen,” said Lefeber, who replaces current port CEO Les Reardanz on Oct. 16.
Panattoni purchased 10 acres of the business park from the port for $3.7 million in 2017.
Donnie Belk, development manager at Panattoni Development’s Tacoma office, said the company does not discuss the names of its tenants without their permission.
“However, we are very pleased with the two tenants we have signed leases with this year,” Belk wrote in an email.
“Glacier Peak at Riverside Business Park has been a great success thus far and we are 75 percent full with approximately 52,000 square feet remaining on the south end of the building. I would like to publicly thank the Port of Everett who developed the business park’s roads, bridge and utility extensions. Their vision was spot on and we are very happy to be a part of it,” Belk concluded.
Expanding in area
Based on the center’s estimated size, Dan Eernissee, Everett’s economic development director, said he expects it would employ at least 100.
“Knowing Amazon, they probably want to get things up and running by the holidays,” he said.
Amazon will join Motor Trucks International, aerospace firm Safran and other companies at Riverside Business Park.
This isn’t Amazon’s first foray into Snohomish County.
In 2017, the company leased a 92,000-square-foot warehouse in south Everett for its “last-mile efforts,” part of its drive to deliver packages to customers.
In January, Amazon chose the county’s sidewalks for a field test of its mini-fridge sized, autonomous delivery robots.
“We are excited that Amazon is expanding their footprint in Snohomish County and look forward to supporting their continued success here. This is another demonstration of the strength of the industrial market in Snohomish County and that reinforces the importance of industrial lands and facilities in attracting jobs and investment to our community,” said Patrick Pierce, president and CEO of Economic Alliance Snohomish County.
The port purchased what would become the Riverside Business Park — the site of a former Weyerhaeuser mill that operated from 1915 into the 1980s — in 1998.
The site has undergone extensive environmental cleanup, and the port spent most of 2012 bringing in soil to raise the land above the 100-year floodplain.